Students in Malawi are gradually moving away from menstrual pads and embracing a more affordable and hygienic menstrual cups
The menstrual cup was invented in the 1930s as an alternative means of menstrual hygiene management, and it has gained popularity in recent decades.
It is however a very new product in Malawi, where students consider it as an affordable and environmentally friendly means of maintaining menstrual hygiene.
Prisca Gama, 22, and Given Mwira, 26, both students at Mzuzu University in northern Malawi, recount their first encounter with menstrual cup in November 2016.
“When we use menstrual pads, we struggle on how to dispose them due to the way the menstrual pads are made, while with a menstrual cup, you just empty the cup, clean it and use it again,” said Ms. Mwira.
The two were among 10 women at Mzuzu University who are educating their peers about the menstrual cup.
Each of the trainees received 50 menstrual cups to distribute to interested women and girls. Within a week, all the cups had been given away, and demand remains high.
Ms. Gama says that menstrual cups are suitable for students, who tend to operate on small budgets.
Ms. Mwira explained how the cup gives girls the convenience to do other physical activities.
“When you are using the menstrual cup, you can do almost everything: running, doing any sporting activity as well as attend classes.”
The cups, which are provided for free, have a lifespan of about 10 years.